Made in Canada: Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia is dancing through the

Hollywood production downturn across Canada by targeting European producers.

The Atlantic province's tax credit ranges from 50%-65%, which makes it among the most generous countrywide.

But wooing Hollywood in hard times remains fiercely competitive after two 2008 labor disputes, by Hollywood writers and Canadian actors.

"We do pay attention to Los Angeles and service the clients that come regularly," says Ann MacKenzie, president and CEO of Film Nova Scotia, the provincial film promotion agency.

Recent U.S. shoots include location work on the Hilary Swank-starrer "Amelia," the latest installment in the CBS' "Jesse Stone" TV movie franchise from Sony Pictures Television, and Stage 6 Films' remake of 1978's "Ice Castles" feature.

At the same time, Nova Scotia is at the opposite end of the continent to Hollywood, and only a four-hour flight from London. And while the Canadian dollar is strong in value against the American greenback, it's still weak compared with the Euro, which benefits European producers.

So recent trade missions across the Atlantic by local producers have netted a host of co-productions, including the German miniseries "Sea Wolf" from Tele-Munchen, and the Discovery U.K. series "Breaking Point," and the Studio Hamburg MOW series based on the novels of Joanna Trollope.

MacKenzie adds the current shooting year is tracking even better than last year.

The provincial government is also eyeing next-generation entertainment jobs with a refundable 50% digital media tax credit for interactive content developed and produced locally, in addition to an added 10% bonus on labor expenditures for products developed outside Halifax.

Back in Halifax, there's a new studio complex near to the city's airport on the drawing boards, with three stages ranging in size from 10,000-30,000 square feet, to replace the vacated Electropolis Studios complex on Halifax's waterfront.

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